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tv   [untitled]    December 13, 2010 7:30pm-8:00pm PST

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a new fee for a group that isn't currently charged. so it really has varied. as i mention there are some people that support the northeast cordon because they see that the fee is in the obvious direction, it would not have as great an impact as a morning and evening pay. commissioner o'brien: one more question, if i may, president. when you looked at the cases where other cities have implemented this i guess around the world, has it been successful? it seems the goal here is controling people's patterns to a certain degree tore trying to encourage them to travel off-peek times or find alternatives ways. maybe it's not fair, but i think one way to describe this, trying to control a pattern or human behavior it's in the way they travel.
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assuming that kind of way of a target, has this been successful in your personal opinion from what you have looked at where it was implemented in other cities? has it been seen to be successful or did it change people's patterns? >> i don't know that i can say that it's been successful in changing people's patterns as a whole. i don't know that in each case the goal to change people's patterns as a whole. i think maybe what you are inferring, there is sort of social engineering that goes along with that. commissioner o'brien: that's the term that i'm looking for. >> the goal is not to change people's patterns every single day or for the rest of their lives what have you, but on a particular day at this particular time, can you make a different decision or do you have a better option available to you? one thing that we noticed on the outset of the study is that 80% of people do feel they have a viable transit option available to them.
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one of the things we asked is what can we do to improve that option and how can this program improve that option for you. but again, the different programs have had different goals in mind. in the case of both london and stockholm and reeven rome and milan -- even rome and lillian. they have found -- milan. they have found that after the program is implemented, there are tweaks along the way, but there has been support for it. in stockholm, they ran a trial. they had a demonstration project after seven months. after seven months, they held a referendum. at the end of the referendum, the vote was to bring it back and make it permanent. they implement every single case according to the local conditions and the program we analyzed here is not the same as any of those because we also wanted to look at the local
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conditions. commissioner o'brien: thank you. president yee riley: commissioner clyde. vice president clyde: thank you for the presentation. >> thank you for having me back. vice president clyde: i admire your work in this. it's a big project. just i guess i'll talk about the small business concern because there are several discreet neighborhoods within the northeast cordon which seems to be the preferred option at this moment for further study for different reasons. >> can i clarify one thing there? although it is the best performer, we would recommend all of the scenarios move forward for additional analysis. vice president clyde: that's what you're looking at different analysis of this study of congestion pricing. i'm a big fan of using our existing infrastructure like the tolls or the parking system in order to reduce congestion
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and reduce trips. i know that you have a discreet time of day entering and leaving. there are people who out of economic necessity will adjust their hours. i mean just out of economic, even at a 50% discount. i have got kind of multiple concerns. i have the concern that wealthy people are going to buy faster, easier trips for themselves at the expense of working class people. it's just is the way it is. if you can afford to pay, you just do what you have to do. if not, you will change your patterns and we saw that in the, when the bridge went down in the earthquake, people shopped more locally and our neighborhoods, chinatown in particular and north beach suffered a great deal with the loss of that freeway because found other patterns so they found alternatives in their
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neighborhoods for shopping and different trips. i mean, our city is already very expensive even at not congested times. so i have an economic balance issue with pricing and again the wealthy, it's not going to matter to them. but to a lot of other people, it will. and of course you're dealing in these larger groups and say it's only a 1% or .5% stating that they won't change or they will change, but for a small business struggling to survive, that 1% might be $300 and that $300 might be what you needed between success and failure. i mean people little on very slim margins. i'm not sure that any part of the analysis really captures
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how tenous business can be and any change can be very, very difficult to absorb. that is one of my concerns about this report. going forward, you know, i'm not sure putting in an expensive infrastructure that manages this at this time is wise when we have toll collections and when we have parking mechanisms and when we may have other options. the other thing i would say is as a small business person who takes public transportation all the time, i'm either on a bicycle, on bart, or on muni, they are very crowded. it is extremely difficult to shop or do more than a little bit at a time and honestly, if you wanted to stop significant travel in and out of the city at the peak, bart would reduce the cost of bart because bart is not inexpensive from the east bay. it's extremely expensive.
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that, again, i'm a little concerned about this option going forward at this point when i believe our existing infrastructure is what really needs to be studied and not a new one imposed on top of it. >> so we would agree with you on that front. we would simply say that the reason there is a consideration for additional study is the long period of time that it might take and that we want to evaluate how the sort of long-term growth can be achieved and what the long-term growth impacts might be. we -- on page 15 of your presentation packet, one of the things that we talk about is a need to evaluate those existing mechanisms. is s.f. park and the evaluation will be available next fall from what i understand. that is something that we do
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strongly believe needs to happen so we understand what are the potential impacts for parking availability, for congestion management, the peak period toll on the bay bridge is something we are tracking closely to see what are the benefits and impacts. we understand that those things need to be evaluated. we would also say that a parking scenario more robust than what we realized in this phase could also be and should also be considered in the next phase of analysis. vice president clyde: for clarification, on page 10, you have a regional opinion, nonsan francisco and then regional. so it's my understanding that these were people outside of the city who were given a presentation, asked for their opinion before and after they were presented with this information. >> that particular one because we needed both, prepoll question and a post-poll question. we had enough regional folks
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that did answer that both questions, if you'll switch once again, i'm so sorry. vice president clyde: that's all right. >> to the presentation, i have a slide that shows how it breaks out by different markets in the region. san francisco is the first one. i'm not sure if that one is included. if it isn't, i can certainly send it to you. you can see that the opinion is more consistent across markets and again this is just people who responded to our feedback during outreach which is about 400. vice president clyde: right. i just want to point out that anything that makes life easier for me i'm in favor. so if it means that it's easier for me to drive in and out, i'll go for everybody paying for this. so i just want to caution you about these polls because i'm entering san francisco three times a year and it's easier those three times -- >> we always caution by this is a summary of people who participated in our feedback.
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we have also conducted regional polls that are statistically significant that show the polls for congestion pricing. i want to come back to low income concerns and shopping locally. the equity issue on low income has been an issue, but it hasn't been as significant because in the bay area, a lot of low income travelers are already on transit. what we found is particularly during the peak period, not all times of day, but particularly during the peak period and particularly to the most congested in downtown focused areas, a lot of low income travelers are on transit. 5% of peak travelers are low income drivers. it's certainly a concern. one of the things that we looked at is a discount for low income travelers as well that would be considered part of the program. vice president clyde: that i think would get back to why i would advocate for looking at our existing structures of revenue collection.
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again, thank you, it's a thorough presentation, so thank you very much. >> thank you. commissioner o'conner: point of clarification. on this pie chart here, nons.f. regional opinions, what does that mean? does it mean tourists were interviewed at union square or something? >> this is from our electronic town hall where we invited people to participate in a web march and it's from a -- webinar and it's from a panel what is random digit selection. we wanted to know more about the regional opinion. most of the outreach has been san francisco-based and we wanted to know the benefits and impacts in san francisco obviously. because it's a regional market, if you go towards the downtown, we wanted to hear from regional travelers as well. they are not tourists. they are folks who work in san francisco or come to san francisco a couple of times a month. we did want to at least get people who come to san
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francisco. commissioner o'conner: got you. president yee riley: director. >> so you had mentioned that it is the state that is the authorizing agent for trolling vehicular movement so disprove 26 affect the c. -- does prop 26 affect the c.t.a.'s inability to act? >> we are getting an opinion on that and other people are getting an opinion about prop 26. from what we understand today, if there is a vote when the implement takes decision comes and and that point the threshold if prop 26 applies. at this point there is no decision so it wouldn't apply at this particular point. it is something that we need to get clarity on and it sounds
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like through the legislative analyst's office it's going to take months if not over a year to find out how prop 26 impacts multiple different things, not just this potential program. vice president clyde: so if prop 26 does affect this, i guess, has there been any discussion at the transportation authority about how the transportation authority will deal with this particular report in moving ahead in relationship to prop 26? >> again, because there is no implementation decision at this point of user fees of any kind, it's simply adoption of the report and a decision as to whether or not to continue study, it's my understanding it wouldn't apply. there is no mechanism there. if it does move to further study, that is something that would have to be incorporated into that study and we're obviously tracking the decision
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from the legislative analyst's office to understand. vice president clyde: i understand doing a report, that prop 26 doesn't affect doing a report. it's about who is implementing the fee and who is the decision-making body for implementing the fee. >> yes. commissioner dooley: you're saying then that the estimates are that you won't know for another year whether prop 26 will effect who makes the decision on implementing such a fee? >> we won't know until the legislative analyst's office makes a decision on it. i can't say right now. again if the study moves or if the concept moves to the next phase of study, that is something that needs to be addressed. if there is an action and prop 26 applies, the threshold would be higher. it would be a supermajority. but i can't say at this point. commissioner dooley: and then i wanted to make a note when you were here before the
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commission, the commission had made a specific request to reach out to all of the merchants associations and provide a presentation on this that are in the northeast quadrant proposal and in the last review of the list on the website, still a majority of those merchants associations were not on that list. >> it was not an understanding that we were to reach out to all of them. we did reach out to several and we did reach out to several community groups in that area as well. i apologize, i did not understand that you had requested that we reach out to all. we have also reached out to self organizations that are sort of umbrella organizations and also pulled in, discussions with others. you're correct. we have not made presentations to every single business organization. again, one of the things that we recommend as part of the next step is additional outreach so that more people have an opportunity to weigh in. commissioner dooley: and then
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in relationship to the next phase and you have heard from the commissioners that there is great concern about the economic impact and there is various ways to take a look at the economic impact and to take a look at jobs affected. i don't see that listed in the timeline as a key criteria of something to be noting in your timeline. so between 2011 and 2013. >> on the next page, the presentation to the transportation authority and there are two major items listed and adoption of the report and then advancing further study, one of the things, in fact, it's the first thing listed is a more detailed economic evaluation. and those are the things that we think or rather that we have heard through outreach and would also recommend need further analysis and more detailed analysis in the next
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phase and we agree with you is essentially what i'm saying. commissioner dooley: ok. just note that it would be, if you're going to be doing this report it would be great to also see that economic analysis as a core component in that as well. >> thank you. president yee riley: commissioner kasselman. commissioner kasselman: i have one last question and it has maybe a few parts. but commercial vehicles, like taxis, i don't know if they actually quality as commercial. they're fees are already very high. >> we considered an exemption for taxis in this phase of the analysis. commissioner kasselman: how about other commercial vehicles that are making deliveries to small mom and pop grocery shops? will they have that $3 fee that they will then pass on to the store who gave you delivery?
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>> so, again, at this level of analysis, we did consider that, but we also considered that the $6 cap would be a benefit to those types of commercial vehicles. this program is another thing that would help mitigate some of those. some some of the outreach that we have heard, one of the things that have come up is potentially considering a tax benefit or a tax break for local businesses, particularly san francisco businesses or businesses within the zone or within a certain distance of the zone that would have some sort of tax break that is equivalent to some proportion of the potential fee and that is something that we would recommend be analyzed in the next phase of analysis as well. commissioner kasselman: how about a florist that delivers flowers in the early morning and he or she might have to do a number of trips between the
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floral shops and the hotels downtown -- >> they would have to pay the fee just once. commissioner dooley: just for the public, how much, what is the budget for the first study? what was the budget? >> it was about $1.3 million and it was funded $1 million through the federal government, through a program called the value pricing pilot program and that program is specifically dedicated to having local, regional, or cities look at this idea of congestion pricing or other types of pricing mechanisms as part of a comprehensive transportation strategy. commissioner dooley: are any other bay area counties or cities doing a similar project? >> not of area wide road pricing. there are other cities that have high occupancy toll lanes
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which essentially is they price single-occupancy vehicles so they can use hotv lanes or they have implemented parking pricing. >> so $300,000 was funded by the city and county of san francisco? >> half of that was funded by the city and county of san francisco, but not actually through the city and county but through the prop k transportation sales tax which has an expenditure line item that is specifically dedicated to demand management strategies. the other half was contributed by the bay area toll authority. commissioner dooley: the bay area toll authority. that's both bridges? >> the bay area toll authority manages all of the bridges except the golden gate bridge. commissioner dooley: it's the bay bridge, all of them -- >> except the golden gate bridge which has its own management district. commissioner dooley: this is
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funded by no san francisco dollars, just part of the sales tax dedicated towards transportation? >> no. commissioner dooley: and what is the budget proposed for the next phase? >> i actually don't have that number off the top of my head. it would probably be about $1 million for the environmental analysis and depending on how it's scoped, it would include additional studies as well and so that may either reduce or increase the budget. we would also expect to be competitive for a different type of federal grant program that is aimed again at focusing on transportation demand strategies or pricing strategies. vice president clyde: is that next million dollars coming from the same group of funding sources? >> it could, but it doesn't necessarily have to. we would have to evaluate, we would have to apply for funds from different sources and
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hopefully be successful but there is no plan to use, i assume you mean general funds there is some funding still in prop k for again demand management strategies and so that one potential source that we would absolute seek to leverage other sources. vice president clyde: thank you. president yee riley: thank you. any more questions? if not, public comment, please. >> at this time the commission is now taking public comment. public comment is limited to two minutes. >> good evening. since you're looking at this, is this going to be something that has to be, a report that is being adopted or being presented from the small business point of view, the areas that they're looking at, whether it's the northeast quadrant or the whole city or
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whatever, almost every merchants association within those areas that are affected has not been contacted. i know the polk street merchants, the two merchants associations have not been conducted, chinatown, chestnut street, union street haven't been part of this. you would think that if it's a basic thing that you go to the basic groups, number one. number two is again you can't see it, i couldn't see it until i was online and going through 58 pages on line this weekend, even i have a life, but some of the things in there, there was a retail study. they went out and studied, talked to people going out and shopping three spots around union square. there is whole other parts to this. what about the people that are working and shopping within
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polk street, within chinatown, not coming from outside, but just within another area. you would think they would be talking to those basic people. that's what this commission is charged with. i think you should be looking at that. what really concerns me also is who is going to get exempt on this whole thing. commissioner o'conner talked about taking his kid to and from school. what about the teachers that have to come every single day to school? are they going to be exempt or are they going to be charged? they shouldn't exempt. of course, this building and all of the state buildings and all of the federal buildings, will the state say all of our employees will be exempt and since the state, city, and fed workers comprise the largest amount of workers, what is that going to do? some thought. you're exempting whole areas of the city. president yee riley: thank you. any more?
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go ahead. >> if i could just respond briefly to those concerns? we have actually briefed mr. kordell so i'm glad to see him here giving comments as well. we did reach out to some of the organizations that were mentioned and in some cases also to community groups in that area and through the marina associations and to other groups as well and also the retail study that was conducted was not limited only to the union square area. that was certainly the focus, but as i mentioned, we did include other areas so we could understand some of the other impacts including columbus avenue and we have also conducted the studies through parking, through our parking management study. the final thing i just wanted to clarify, we did not consider exemptions for city workers in the analysis. we considered next for
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emergency vehicles, taxis at this point. we would say that the discount program, much like other aspects of the program would need further study in the next phase of the analysis. thank you very much for your time. president yee riley: thank you. any more public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner dooley: i have to say the north beach merchants association was not reached out to and they have been in existence for a long time. i'm not sure the north beach chamber of commerce are on the list as well, but those are the two main right in the center of north beach areas and the other just commissioners. the way word gets around, i mean, if we have an area -- i made a joke about drawing a moat around north beach. let's drawing a moat around north beach and the city is taking it seriously and they are going to draw a line around
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our neighborhood. the northeast section is just -- anyway, the northeast section is just, why it's being singled out is -- i don't need to know why it's being singled out. i'm just saying that giving people one more reason not to come back across into our neighborhood, it's not limited out in the wider world to oh, it's only during these times. it's a pain in the butt to go, we're not going. i mean that's just how general public opinion will translate in my opinion. president yee riley: director? >> i just wanted to respond to commissioner clyde's comment. working with commissioner dooley the last time we were here we actually did a presentation in north beach. she suggested we go to the north beach meeting and we did that with commissioner dooley.
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president yee riley: director. >> i want to make a comment for the record and that is as our, we're beginning to hear from many of the businesses through the small business assistance center and taking a look at things such as this, not only do we have businesses that are subject to impact fees in this particular area and adding to this, i think what we're beginning to see is that even as a business, well financed formula retail, i mean we're making it harder and harder and harder for low income businesses to come into certain areas. so in effect, it's a subtle red lining and i think that we really need to take a cautionary note of such things as how they overlay and i would like to see this in the
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economic analysis as to how this type of fee will affect a business in relationship to all of the other fees that they have that are unique to the particular area that they're in, that's in this area. so i just, i think that while i think we think it's well intentioned and well good, but also london is an extraordinary expensive area to live in. the one where the congestion pricing area is one of the most expensive. some of the impetus was in protecting the art that was there, that was being corroded by the diesel emissions. we don't necessarily have quite that in san francisco. so i mean, while i think in the economic analysis, we have to take a look at what is going to be the forecast in 10, 15 years in terms of who


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